31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: SCARY MOVIE V

CAST

Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical)
Simon Rex (The Forsaken)
Erica Ash (Minna no le)
Katrina Bowden (Piranha 3DD)
Terry Crews (White Chicks)
Jasmine Guy (The Vampire Diaries)
Darrell Hammond (Epic Movie)
Sarah Hyland (Vampire Academy)
Heather Locklear (Return of Swamp Thing)
J.P. Manoux (Scooby-Doo)
Bow Wow (Smallville)
Jerry O’Connell (Scream queens)
Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf)
Molly Shannon (Bad Teacher)
Snoop Dgg (Training Day)
Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls)

Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan get together to make a sex tape with over 20 cameras beside Sheen’s bed. The time-lapsed tape fast forwards through the two doing all sorts of bedroom antics, including gymnastics, riding a horse, and having clowns jump in under the sheets. Sheen is pulled into the air by a paranormal force and thrown against walls, shelves, and doors until he lands on the bed again. Lohan is frightened so she decides to go home when she flies into the air as well; she becomes possessed and throws him into the camera and kills him. The text explains that Sheen’s body was found that day but he didn’t stop partying until days later, and that his three kids were found missing, Lohan was arrested, again, and a reward was put out for the missing children.
Several months later, Ja’Marcus (Snoop Dogg) and D’Andre (Mac Miller) are walking in the Humboldt County woods in California in search of cannabis plants to steal. After stealing one and fleeing, they take shelter in a cabin in the woods. Upon entering they see three strange creatures, later confirmed to be Sheen’s children, and turn them in for the reward. The feral children are placed in isolation at a child development research center for a few months until they are deemed well enough to be returned to familial custody. When Sheen’s brother, Dan Sanders (Simon Rex) and his wife Jody (Ashley Tisdale) come to collect them, they are told they can have them if they agree to stay in a large suburban middle-class home fitted with security cameras. Jody is reluctant to take the kids at first but soon adjusts to having them. In an attempt to bond with their new children, Jody auditions for a ballet performance, Swan Lake, and is cast in the lead role as the Swan Queen.
Meanwhile, a continuing pattern of bizarre paranormal activity in their new home makes them investigate further. They eventually learn from the children that the attacks on their home are by “Mama”, the mother of the children, who is under a curse and is trying to get them back so she can sacrifice both herself and the children. Maria, the couple’s Hispanic live-in maid, is frightened and keeps experimenting with various rituals, Catholic and otherwise, to ward off the evil spirits in the house. During the day, Dan is frustrated with the modest progress of his test subjects at a primate intelligence research facility; ironically, Dan is not bright enough to realize that one of the chimpanzees, Caesar, is now actually much smarter than he is.
Jody and Dan, with the help of Jody’s close friend Kendra Brooks (Erica Ash), who Jody met at her ballet class, must quickly find a way to lift the curse and save their family. Along the way, they seek the assistance of psychic Blaine Fulda, who turns out to be a complete fraud, and a dream extractor named Dom Kolb (Ben Kornish), who helps them understand that the solution to their problems lies in the mysterious Book of the Dead. However, Jody and Kendra fail to see what the book is capable of, oblivious to four friends continuously becoming possessed and reviving in the cabin. They wreak havoc when either of the two read the two passages of the book; one that unleashes demons, “gort klaatu barada nikto”, and the other that revives them from possession. When “Mama” takes the children to a cliff to sacrifice them, Jody fails to lift the curse with the book, but does manage to knock the evil spirit into Ja’Marcus and D’Andre’s pool containing a live shark, which then devours her.
Realizing the love for her adopted children is all she needs in life, Jody gives the part of the Swan Queen to Kendra, who performs the dance in the style to that of a stripper. The performance is heavily applauded by an audience that includes Jody, Dan, the children, and Madea. The story’s narrator is revealed to be Caesar, who then informs the audience that the humans should enjoy as much time they had on earth and says that apes will one day take over the world. In a post-credits scene, Sheen wakes up, with Dom Kolb sitting beside him, from a dream extraction, i.e. the whole movie was a dream. After Kolb informs that Sheen will be sleeping with Lohan, a car crashes into the room, killing Sheen. Revealing Lohan as the driver, she gets out of the car, says to Kolb “You were driving” and throws him the keys, blaming the accident on him.

Scary Movie 5 has some genuine funny moments, but too few & far to be consistent like it’s predecessors. The script is weak, with too much scraping the bottom of the barrel repetitive visual comedy, Simon Rex getting beaten up umteen times in identical fashion get’s unfunny, fast. And it lacks any real believable flow connecting all the spoofed films together. Iv’e liked all the previous Scary Movie films, but this is the first one iv’e had to force myself to sit all the way through.

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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: DEAD LIKE ME – GHOST STORY

MAIN CAST
Ellen Muth (Hannibal)
Callum Blue (Smallville)
Jasmine Guy (The Vampire Diaries)
Cynthia Stevenson (Agent Cody Banks)
Mandy Patinkin (The Princess Bride)
Britt McKillip (Trick ‘r Treat)
Chtistine Willes (Kingdom Hospital)
Laura Harris (The Faculty)
GUEST CAST
Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG.1)
Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie)

 

Feeling like she does not fit in, George decides to shirk her reaping duties and go on Happy Time’s annual camping retreat. However, even there she can’t escape from her duties as Rube follows with an assignment. Back on the job in Seattle, Daisy and Mason must scramble to find the Post-it note he lost before tragedy occurs because of his ineptitude. Joy does her best to sell her house, but Reggie scares the potential buyers away by saying that George, her late sister, still keeps in touch with her from beyond the grave.

Dead Like Me was always a fun series, this isn’t much of a Christmas episode as there’s only one scene set as Christmas, but it’s still a great episode and any excuse to watch a classic show like is a good excuse.

REVIEW: LOIS & CLARK – SEASON 1,2,3 & 4

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CAST

Dean Cain (Supergirl)
Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives)
Lane Smith (V: The Series)
Michael Landes (Final Destination 2)
Justin Whalin (Child’s Play 3)
Tracy Scoggins (Babylon 5)
K Callan (Heroes)
Eddie Jones (C.H.U.D.)
John Shea (Mutant X)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Elizabeth Barondes (Oscar)
Kim Johnston Ulrich (Passions)
Mel Winkler (Coach Carter)
Shaun Toub (Iron Man)
Clyde Kusatsu (Paradise Road)
Persis Khambatta (Star Trek: TMP)
Joseph Campanella (Guding Light)
George Murdock (Star Trek V)
Terence Knox (Children of the Corn II)
Tony Jay (Beauty and The Beast)
Leslie Jordan (Jason Goes To Hell)
Jim Beaver (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Miguel Sandoval (Alias)
Jessica Tuck (Super 8)
Alexander Enberg (Gia)
David Deluise (Vampires Suck)
Courtney Peldon (Say It isn’t So)
L. Scott Caldwell (Lost)
Morgan Fairchild (That 70s Show)
Charles Cyphers (Halloween)
Fred Stoller (Little Man)
Richard Belzer (The Flash)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Elliott Gould (Ocean’s Eleven)
Eve Plumb (The Brady Bunch)
Penn Jillette (Sabrina: TTW)
Richard Gant (Godzilla)
Chris Demetral (Dolly Dearest)
Robert Costanzo (Batman: TAS)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Dean Stockwell (Quantum Leap)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Beverly Johnson (Crossroads)
James Earl Jones (Star wars)
Phyllis Coates (Adventures of Superman)
Robert Beltran (Star Trek: Voyager0
Denise Crosby (Star TRek: TNG)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Traylor Howard (Two Guys and a Girl)
Michael Des Barres (Poison Ivy 3)
Barry Livingston (Argo)
William Schallert (Innerspace)
Peter Scolari (Gotham)
Rick Overton (Cloverfield)
Bronson Pinchot (True Romance)
Bruce Weitz (Deep Impact)
Dick Miller (Gremlins)
Farrah Forke (Wings)
Peter Boyle (Taxi Driver)
Melora Hardin (17 Again)
John Pleshette (Rocky II)
William Devane (Interstellar)
Isobel Sanford (Love at First Bite)
Dick Van Patten (Spaceballs)
Denise Richards (Valentine)
Sherman Hemsley (Amen)
John Rubinstein (Legends of Tomorrow)
Scott Valentine (My Demon Lover)
Christian Clemenson (Apollo 13)
Brian Doyle-Murray (Groudnhog Day)
Gerrit Graham (Child’s Play 2)
Raquel Welch (Fantastic Voyage)
Cliff De Young (Glory)
Jim Pirri (Alias)
Curtis Armstrong (American Dad)
Danny Woodburn (Watchmen)
Terry Kiser (Friday The 13th – Part VII)
Lane Davies (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Meredith Scott Lynn (Legally Blonde)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Frank Gorshin (Batman 60s)
Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Jason Carter (Babylon 5)
Michele Abrams (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Adam West (Batman 60s)
Maurice Godin (Working)
Jessica Collins (Tru Calling)
Carlos Lacamara (Heroes Reborn)
Olivia Brown (48 Hours)
Rob LaBelle (Jack Frost)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Genie Francis (Roseell)
Kenneth Kimmins (Beauty and The Beast)
Shelley Long (Cheers)
Mary Gross (Sabrina: TTW)
Sandra Hess (Gargoyle)
Sean Whalen (Twister)
Andrew Bryniarski (Batman Returns)
Robert Carradine (Django Unchained)
Harve Presnell (Star trek: Voyager)
Beverly Garland (Decoy)
Gary Dourdan (CSI)
Emily Procter (CSI: Miami)
Hamilton Camp (The Little Mermaid)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Brad Garrett (The Crazy Ones)
Tony Curtis (The Great Race)
Larry Poindexter (Blade: The Series)
Daniel Roebuck (Lost)
Kyla Pratt (Dr. Dolittle)
Justine Bateman (Family Ties)
Roger Daltrey (Highlander: The Series)
Jon Tenney (Green Lantern)
Nark Lindsay Chapman (Swamp Thing: The Series)
J.G. Hertzler (Star Trek: DS9)
Eric Allan Kramer (The Incredible Hulk Returns)
Simon Templeman (Angel)
Jack Larson (Adventures of Superman)
John D’Aquino (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Alan Rachins (L.A. Law)
Jasmine Guy (The Vampire Diaries)
Sydney Walsh (Point Break)
Antonio Sabato Jr. (The Big Hit)
Steve Hytner (Roswell)
Drew Carey (Fuck)
Kathy Kinney (Arachnophobia)
Howie Mandel (Bobby’s World)
Keene Curtis (Stargate SG.1)
Tony Amendola (Annabelle)
Kristanna Loken (Painkiller Jane)
Vito D’Ambrosio (The Flash_
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Patrick Cassidy (Smallville)
Keith Brunsmann (Tweek City)
Lori Fetrick (CIA II)
Tim Thomerson (Transcers)
Stacey Travis (Highlander: The Series)
Grant Shaud (Antz)

Die-hard Superman fans are torn on this one. Some think of L&C as the black sheep of Superman history. Others see it as one of their favorite adaptations. And how could they not, really? Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher as Clark and Lois had some serious chemistry going on. The late Lane Smith as Perry White is still my favorite version of the character, though Michael McKean did a darn good job himself. Michael Landes as Jimmy, Tracy Scoggins as Cat, Eddie Jones and K Callan as Jonathan and Martha… it all really gelled. And John Shea as Lex – how was he missed as a regular in the later years. Because of personnel changes throughout the series’ run, unfortunately, there were very little references or flashbacks to the first year because the show was now guided by a new regime.
 But the first year really is where it’s at. Teri Hatcher, before she was a desperate housewife, looked real and spectacular as Lois Lane. They dressed Lois in retro outfits that looked like they came from another decade, which gave the show a timeless quality. Dean Cain as Clark offered a “cool” but alien take to the role. Both Dean and Teri look really fashionable even to this day in the first season of the show.
The special effects are hit-or-miss; in some scenes, the effects work, but in others, you cringe. We’ve really gotten spoiled by the top-notch effects work in programs like Smallville. Guest stars in that first season include model Beverly Johnson, James Earl Jones, Michael McKean, Law & Order’s Richard Belzer, Morgan Fairchild, Dean Stockwell, and many others. But it’s the show’s recurring cast that makes it the most, well, super.
The DVD set includes commentary on the pilot episode by actor Dean Cain, director Robert Butler, and show creator Deborah Joy LeVine. It’s a lot of fun, especially hearing stories about the show’s casting and production of that pilot episode. I really wish Deborah Joy LeVine had stayed on the series as an executive producer, because she had such an amazing vision for the show that I think is a big reason of why that first season was so good. There’s also a documentary on the effects, but the real treat is a bonus documentary where almost all of the L&C cast and many members of the crew are interviewed about the show, except for Michael Landes (Jimmy #1) and Lane Smith (Perry White). How cool is it, ten years later, to see Big TV Superstar Teri Hatcher talking about her days of Lois Lane, all while speaking on Housewives’ Wisteria Lane set. Even K Callan, Eddie Jones, Tracy Scoggins, and John Shea participated in the action. I applaud Warner Home Video for going to the effort of including these people.
 The second season of L&C holds a special place to me because it is the year that taught me how to be a fan. Series creator Deborah Joy LeVine exited after the thrilling first season finale, and departing at the same time were Tracy Scoggins (Cat Grant), Chris Demetral (Jack), and – the most painful loss at the time – Michael Landes, who I referred to back in the day as “the real Jimmy.” He was replaced by Justin Whalin in the role, and I admit, I didn’t take to him very easily. The show went for more of an action-oriented tone, but luckily, Lois & Clark had some very good writers who still managed to find a way to keep the romantic elements of the series. Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain had a chemistry, as did their characters of Lois and Clark, and you can’t help but feel for them as they go along.
Season Two was also the season where Lois & Clark finally became a hit – no “sophomore slump” here. From the time Clark finally asked Lois on a date in “The Phoenix” things were looking up. No Mayson Drakes or Dan Scardinos could get in the way of finally getting these two characters together.
Upon watching the DVD, my first stop after the special features was “Whine Whine Whine.” In it, Superman fights a foe more dastardly than Kryptonite – greed. The episode featured guests like Ben Stein, Adam West, Frank Gorshin, Martin Mull, and others… it’s just great. Long-time Lois & Clark fans will also remember it for bringing in a scene that we’ve waited for for a while. “
Like Season 1, the producers of the L&C DVDs went all out in providing an assortment of special material, and for the most part they were very successful. Dean Cain provides interviews again (no Teri this time), and other interviewees included K Callan (Martha Kent), Eddie Jones (Jonathan Kent), Denise Crosby (Dr. Gretchen Kelly), and Justin Whalin (Jimmy Olsen). The show’s Season 2 writers and some crew are also featured, including John McNamara, who is awesome not only for his great L&C contributions, but because he co-created Profit, which is the best show you probably have never seen.
In the interviews Justin Whalin talks about the initial fan reaction to his recasting, which makes me feel a bit bad for the way I felt and posted years ago after he was cast. I later met Justin and thought he was a really nice guy. I’ve also noticed on the DVD interviews that Justin has apparently not aged at all in the past 10 years – he looks almost exactly the same.
Another bonus feature takes a look at the fandom for the show, again featuring some actors and creators and some visits to some fans at a recent “FoLCFest” (Fans of Lois & Clark) gathering. I was glad to see an assortment of people interviewed for the featurette, but I was a bit disappointed that no one from the Krypton Club was represented – after all, its subscriber list WAS bigger than the listserv or the IRC channel for most of its existence – but that fact seems to have been forgotten in the passing of time.
Finally, Dean Cain provides commentary for “Season’s Greedings,” where you hear – about 2 dozen times – about how foamy material rather than real snow were used to provide the “snow” for the episode. It’s very cool to hear Dean talking about his writing debut, which conveniently also happened to be one of the most popular episodes of the series. Dean’s a great sport and I really love the fact that he’s even doing DVD commentary. .
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 The third season was probably the most memorable time for me to be a part of the Lois & Clark fandom, as the show started hitting high gear. Unfortunately, some of the situations that I found to be “funny” back as a kid are just kind of annoying and childish now. If I ever see Olivia Brown’s Star anytime soon, it’ll be too soon. Jonathan Frakes and Genie Francis also camp it up way too much as collectors Tim and Amber Lake. And they’re not the only ones who bring bad camp to the season.
Luckily, some episodes have a good mix of camp and story. “We Have A Lot To Talk About,” the season’s premiere, is an episode that will always be close to my heart and has some of the best quotations in Superman history. (“That is so unfair! You know I can’t fly!”) There’s camp in the form of the Churches in that said episode, but when it’s Peter Boyle, Bruce Campbell, and Jessica Collins, you really don’t seem to mind.
“Ultra Woman” gives Lois super-powers, and again, a very campy costume, but makes for a good story anyway. The episode also features the Metropolis Park Wishing Well, which now can be paused so you can actually see this author’s name inscribed on the well! Another highlight of the season – and one of the series’ best all around – is “Tempus Anyone,” a return appearance for the Tempus character from Season 2’s “Tempus Fugitive.” Season Three rushed right into a wedding, and “I Now Pronounce You” promises the “wedding of the century” – a wedding that ABC touted as being “bigger than Burt and Loni, Michael and Lisa Marie…” You see where they’re going with that. I don’t want to spoil the episode, but the episodes following it may become increasingly frustrating, even though “Double Jeopardy” and “Seconds” are also two of the season’s best shows.
The season finale introduces some aliens fom a New Krypton. This is the spot where the producers chose to ignore the whole “Last Son of Krypton” aspect of Superman.
 Season 4 does have some gems. Some I liked the first time around, like the “Meet John Doe/Lois and Clarks” two-parter… and some were surprisingly better than what I remembered, like the Leslie Luckabee trilogy. One advantage of watching this season on DVD ten years later, besides the feeling of nostalgia, is that many of these episodes were ones I had only seen once back in the day… compared to the dozens of times I re-watched the early episodes. So, in effect, this is kind of new, and I like that.
 Season 4 is still enjoyable but as you get closer to the last episode you know the end is coming, plus the final episode is a cliffhanger that will never be resolved.

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: THE HALLOWEEN EPISODES

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MAIN CAST

Nina Dobrev (Never Cry Werewolf)
Paul Wesley (8 Simple Rules)
Ian Somerhalder (Smallville)
Steven R. McQueen (Piranha 3D)
Kat Graham (Honey 2)
Candice King (Juno)
Zach Roerig (As The World Turns)
Kayla Ewell (Lucifer)
Michael Trevino (The Factory)
Sara Canning (Smallville)
Matthew Davis (Cult)
Michael Malarkey (The Selection)
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GUEST CAST

Jasmine Guy (Dead Like Me)
Robert Pralgo (Fast & Furious 7)
Susan Walters (The Flash)
Natashia Williams (She Spies)
Tiya Sircar (The Internship)
Maiara Walsh (The Starving Games)
Malese Jow (The Flash)
Taylor Kinney (Zero Dark Thirty)
Arielle Kebbel (The Uninvited)
Kelly Hu (X-Men 2)
Olga Fonda (Real Steel)
Janina Gavankar (True Blood)
Rick Cosnett (The Flash)
Shaun Sipos (Final Destination 2)
Colin Ferguson (A Town Eureka)
Penelope Mitchell (Hemlock Grove)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Halloween: H20)
Emily Chang (Total Recall)
Chris Wood (Supergirl)
Annie Wersching (24)
Elizabeth Blackmore (Evil Dead 2013)
Scarlett Byrne (Harry Potter)
Teressa Liane (Neighbours)

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HAUNTED

Vicki attacks Tyler but Damon and Stefan stop her, and Damon compels Tyler to forget it all. Jeremy tells Elena that he will be joining the search party for Vicki. Vicki calls Matt and tells him she’s okay. Stefan tries to get Vicki to drink animal blood, but Damon convinces her that she needs human blood instead. Elena arrives and Stefan promises her that he will get through to Vicki.  Bonnie talks to her Grams about witchcraft before she leaves for school. Damon overhears Richard and Carol discussing the vampire in town. Caroline gives Bonnie Damon’s crystal and tells her she doesn’t care what she does with it, as long as its gone.
Image result for THE VAMPIRE DIARIES hauntedStefan gets Vicki drinking coffee and leaves briefly. Vicki tries to call Jeremy, but Elena refuses to let her, so Vicki pushes her against the wall and threatens to kill her unless she lets her see Jeremy. Stefan assures Elena that Vicki will calm down eventually. Damon tells Vicki that he only turned her because he was bored. Damon and Stefan take Vicki outside and Damon teaches her how to use her super speed. Vicki uses it to escape. She goes home where Matt’s happy to see her. Stefan shows up, looking for Vicki, but she doesn’t want to see him so Matt sends him away. Elena convinces Jeremy to attend the Halloween Party with her and tries to convince Jeremy to let go of Vicki. He and Vicki text each other and plan to meet up at the party.
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Damon flirts with Carol to get information. He tries to compel her, but she’s wearing vervain. She tells him about the Founder’s Council and he offers to get vervain for her when he explains that Zach is out of town. She tells him that anybody who showed up during the day to the Founder’s Party and Heritage Display was eliminated as a suspect of being a vampire. At the party, Matt tells Elena that Vicki’s with him and she realizes that Jeremy’s gone. Stefan finds Vicki and confronts her. Elena and Matt find them and Vicki tells Matt that Stefan won’t leave her alone. Vicki escapes, and Stefan tells Matt that he’s trying to help Vicki. Vicki finds Jeremy and they kiss. Damon discovers Bonnie has his crystal, but when he tries to take it from her, it burns him. Elena finds Vicki and Jeremy kissing outside just as she loses control. Annoyed by Elena, Vicki bites her, and Stefan arrives and stakes her.  Grams tells Bonnie that the crystal belonged to her ancestor and a very powerful witch, Emily Bennett. Grams tells Bonnie that it is now hers and she has to protect it. Elena, blaming Damon, slaps him. Matt asks Elena if she’s seen Vicki, but she says she hasn’t, calls him a good brother, and then cries in her car.
Wen Elena gets home, she comforts Jeremy over Vicki’s death and he begs her to “make it stop”. Stefan arrives and Elena asks him if he can compel Jeremy to forget that Vicki died, but he says he isn’t strong enough. Damon then appears and volunteers to do it, asking Elena what she wants Jeremy to remember. She tells him to make Jeremy believe that Vicki left town, he’ll miss her, but knows its for the best. As Damon compels Jeremy, Elena explains her existing feelings for Stefan to him, but when Damon exits the house, she walks back inside alone.
In the earlier episodes, I wasn’t that into Vicki as a person, but when she became a vampire, I was looking forward to seeing her evolve, so to speak. Now I’m sad that they’ve killed her off. Not only that, but it was fun watching Stefan and Damon coach her on what it means to be a vampire, each in their own unique way.

MASQUERADE

The episode starts with Damon handing a stressed-looking Caroline a glass of blood to comfort her. Stefan arrives and asks them what happened. Caroline tells the Salvatore brothers that she was confronted by Katherine at the Mystic Grill. There is a flashback to when Caroline got to the Grill. She runs into the bathroom after an embarrassing encounter with Matt. In the bathroom, Katherine suddenly appears behind her. Caroline pretends to think it’s Elena, and Katherine pretends to be her at first and asks her if she is okay. Caroline plays along for a bit, until she runs to the door in vampire speed to escape, but Katherine anticipated it and is able to block her. She asks her to deliver a message to them and says: “Tell Damon and Stefan that I want the moonstone, or I will rip this town apart until it rains blood.” She then instructs her that the deal is to go down that evening at the Masquerade Ball. Damon assumes that she got scared, noting that what she did to Jenna in the previous episode was desperate. Stefan states that they can’t underestimate her. Caroline suggests giving Katherine the moonstone, but Damon says “No, Katherine isn’t getting dick!” and explains that he’s going to kill Katherine at the ball. Stefan interrupts, saying that Damon wouldn’t be killing Katherine because he is going to do it himself. Meanwhile, Matt, Elena and Jeremy are bringing Jenna home from the hospital. It is revealed that Jenna was told that she ran into a knife while making dinner, even though in reality, Katherine had compelled her to stab herself earlier. Jenna  is embarrassed about it, but they all soothe her by telling her it was a freaky accident. While Jenna is resting, Jeremy and Elena are alone together and he asks his sister what they are going to do about Katherine. Elena says they’re not going to do anything. She believes that Katherine hurt Jenna because she was still with Stefan and now that they’re broken up, they’re safe. Jeremy tells Elena she is being naive and walks away.
Katherine returns to her room at Mrs Flowers’ Bed and Breakfast, and she helps her get comfortable by bringing her shopping bags. When she leaves, Katherine starts to take a dress out of one of the bags when suddenly, a woman (a witch named Lucy) slinks into the room. Katherine hears her and runs to her in super speed and presses her against the wall, scolding her to not to sneak up on a vampire. Lucy replies: “Don’t attack a witch! .. It’s good to see you, girl.” They hug. Lucy says that she came because she asked her. “Like you had a choice,” says Katherine. She tells Lucy about the Masquerade Ball and asks her to come with her and she smiles. Caroline opens the door of the Salvatores’ house and Bonnie comes inside, holding the Grimoire in her hands. Alaric and Damon are seen in the background looking at weapons. Jeremy is also there and tells Bonnie: “We’re gonna kill Katherine”, when she asks what everyone is doing. Bonnie gives them a puzzled look, to which Stefan says “Let me explain…okay, we’re going to kill Katherine.”. Bonnie looks shocked. Stefan walks over to Damon and Alaric, the latter of whom is explaining how to use each weapon. Cut to Katherine straightening her hair and talking to Lucy in a snide tone: “I’m impersonating my dull-as-dishwater doppelgänger, Elena. She has the worst taste.” Katherine says she became quite good at pretending to be Elena. She says she wants the moonstone and that she wants Lucy to help her. When she asks her what she wants to do with it, Katherine doesn’t answer. “You want me to break the curse,” assumes Lucy. “Let’s just get it first,” Katherine says, “What I really need is backup. I can’t imagine that Damon and Stefan are just gonna hand it over without putting up a fight.”
Bonnie tells Stefan that their plan is risky. Stefan clarifies that it’s about more than wanting Elena back, that what Katherine did to Jenna crossed the line and that she needs to be stopped before it happens again. Bonnie is still not quite convinced, but reluctantly says she could do a spell to trap Katherine, similar to the tomb spell. Meanwhile, Elena is at her house with Matt. She tells him that Alaric will be coming over to spend time with Jenna. She invites Matt to join them, but he tells her that he’s going to the Masquerade Ball. Elena responds that she’s not going because of what’s going on between her and Stefan. Matt tells her that he’s going because there’s something he has to do, but won’t go into detail. She looks suspicious, but tells him to go and have fun. When Matt brings up Stefan, Elena says she doesn’t think they’re going to get back together: “There is so much about me and Stefan that will never work.” Matt says that he’s always there for her and they hug. At the Salvatores’ house, Alaric, Stefan, Damon, Jeremy, Caroline and Bonnie, get ready to go through with their plan. Alaric asks if they’re sure that they don’t need his help at the ball, but Stefan says: “No. I need you to stay with Elena, I don’t want her to know about this.” Alaric promises that he’ll look after her. When Stefan asks if anyone wants to back out, no one wants to. Caroline states that Katherine killed her and that fair is fair, but it takes Bonnie longer to reply; in the end, she says she is in as long as nobody gets hurt (except Katherine, anyway). At the Masquerade Ball at the Lockwood Mansion, artists are seen doing tricks with fire and people in masks are watching. Inside in the office, Tyler is getting ready. His mother, Carol, tells him it’s already packed outside. Mother and son compliment each other on their looks. Tyler apologizes for his past behavior and asks his mother about Mason. She says she hasn’t heard from him and doesn’t think she will. Carol mentions that the Masquerade theme was her late husband’s idea. She says that they both loved him and that “it’s natural to feel abandoned. I just don’t want you to feel alone.” They decide to go outside and pretend to have some fun.

Katherine and Lucy arrive in masks. She runs into Matt and he thinks it’s Elena. Katherine compliments him in his suit. She compels him, saying: “Do you know what you have to do?” Matt answers: “I’m going to get Tyler Lockwood really drunk. I’m going to start a fight with him and beat him until he snaps.” “And then?”, asks Katherine. “I won’t stop until he kills me,” says Matt. Katherine then asks him to leave. Stefan is outside looking around when Damon comes to him from inside the mansion. Neither brother has seen Katherine yet. They play mind games on each other about loving Katherine and whether one of them will or will not hesitate to kill her. Sarah and Aimee are inside the office dancing with each other, and Matt and Tyler are there too, drinking and talking. Tyler says he likes that for once, it’s Matt corrupting him and not the other way around. “Okay, let’s go party,” says Aimee and Sarah and the guys follow her. Jeremy is seen going upstairs with a bag in his hand, followed by Bonnie. They enter a room, which Bonnie exclaims is perfect for what they need to do. Jeremy opens the bag and they take out weapons and Emily Bennett’s Grimoire. Bonnie explains the spell to Jeremy. When he asks her about her magic, she explains that she doesn’t want to know too much, and that she’s only practiced spells that do good. She then admits that she doesn’t really like any of this supernatural drama and doesn’t really want to be a part of all of this. When Jeremy says being a witch must be cool, Bonnie says it’s anything but that because of what she knows about what happened to her witch ancestors: “It never ends well for people like me.” She says she only helps because she doesn’t want anyone else to get hurt and that she doesn’t know how to stay out of it. Jenna and Elena are at home eating pizza. Jenna says she feels like an invalid. When Elena asks her aunt where Jeremy went, she says that he went to the Lockwood party, which surprises Elena. Jenna says that she’s glad he’s having some fun. Elena, suspicious, pretends to go get napkins, but actually goes into the kitchen to talk to Alaric. She tells him that she feels like everyone is avoiding her and wants to know what’s going on. Alaric says that he can’t tell her anything, but when Elena suggests that maybe she should go to the ball after all, he clearly has a problem with it. He tries to deflect by telling her that he’s supposed to keep an eye on her in case Katherine shows up and tries to hurt her while everyone else is at the party, but she just gets more confused and upset, saying that Stefan would never go to any of the Mystic Falls events by himself, because he only attended them for her. Alaric tells her to drop it, and she appears to go along with it.
Jeremy and Bonnie go to tell Stefan that the room is ready, but on their way, Bonnie gets a strange feeling and walks over to Lucy to ask if they know each other. Lucy deflects by saying that she’s a plus one and knows no one and quickly takes her leave. “Are you okay?” asks Jeremy and Bonnie answers: “Just got a weird vibe. Let’s find Damon.” Outside, Stefan is seen, still looking around, until he finally eyes Katherine and walks towards her a little. Suddenly, she shows up behind him and asks him to dance with her. When Stefan refuses, Katherine asks him to choose someone at the party for her to kill instead. Stefan finally agrees to dance with her. Katherine tells Stefan she didn’t expect Jenna to survive, acting innocent, asking: “How does one stab oneself?” Stefan tells her he doesn’t want anyone to get hurt tonight. Katherine agrees and says: “Just give me the moonstone.” He tells her that he doesn’t have it on him, and tells him they would have to get it together. Katherine, who expected this, simply says “Or, you can go get it by yourself and bring it here, and I will try not to kill anyone while you’re gone.” Stefan then says: “My way or you don’t get it.” They are interrupted by Aimee Bradley, asking Stefan where Matt is. When she sees “Elena”, she compliments her and her dress. Katherine thanks her and tells her she loves her necklace. She says it’s twisted, pretends to go fix it, but instead cracks her spine, paralyzing her from the waist down, followed by another crack that kills her. Then she says: “The moonstone, Stefan. Tick tock!” and leaves, leaving dead Aimee in Stefan’s arms to deal with. Back at the Gilbert house, Elena tells Jenna and Alaric she’s going to bed, but she instead grabs a key and sneaks out the door to go to the Lockwoods’. Stefan tells Damon that he left the body in the trunk for now. Damon says they’ll dump it later and writes it off as collateral damage. Stefan says that this is why they just need to call the whole thing off, but Damon convinces him to change his mind again, saying: “What? Who’s hesitating now? Hey! Don’t do this to me. This woman ruined our lives, she destroyed us. Tonight it ends. We can do it together. I got your back. Alright?” Stefan reluctantly agrees. Jeremy and Bonnie are outside and Jeremy asks her random questions. “Can you do a hocus pocus to pass a math exam?” “I don’t know that spell.” “Huh. That would be the first one I’d learn. Or a sex spell or something, I don’t know.” He asks her to dance while they are waiting, and Bonnie says “No!”, like it is a crazy idea. Jeremy chuckles and plays it off well, and Bonnie says: “I mean… no, thank you.” Jeremy’s phone rings. He received a message from Damon, saying: “Now.” They look at each other and Jeremy stands up. Lucy catches up with Katherine, saying: “You didn’t tell me there was another witch here.” Katherine plays dumb, but Lucy says that no one was supposed to know that she was involved in this. Katherine says she owes her dear friend – meaning herself – a favor. Jeremy appears, pretending to think that Katherine is Elena. He asks Lucy to let him talk to his sister alone and she leaves. He drops the act and tells her that Stefan and Damon want to meet her at the edge of the lake by the woods and that they brought the moonstone. She asks him why he’s doing the Salvatores’ bidding, and he responds that he’s not afraid of her. She jokes that the Gilbert men are so courageous and reminds him how she cut off John Gilbert’s fingers. She finally leaves, and Jeremy is texting when suddenly Elena pulls him behind a bush. She asks him: “What the hell is going on?”
Caroline sees Matt laughing and drinking with Sarah. Tyler appears and wants Matt to go somewhere with him, when Matt sees Caroline. They smile at each other for a moment, but Matt leaves. She receives a message from Jeremy saying: “Your turn.” She goes into another room. Katherine appears and presses her to the wall, throttling her. She asks her what Stefan and Damon are up to, and Caroline purposely pretends not to know anything. She finally admits that they’re trying to kill her. When Katherine asks for the moonstone, Caroline tells her that Bonnie has it and also tells her – after another bit more throttling – that she’s upstairs. Elena is shocked to find out that they want to kill Katherine there. She tells Jeremy and Bonnie that they’re crazy and that they’ll get themselves killed, especially Jeremy, who she doesn’t want to be involved in this sort of thing in the first place. Bonnie says they know what they’re doing, and Jeremy explains that they saw an opportunity and had to take it; he also adds that Katherine went after Jenna and needs to be stopped, and that he’s involved regardless of whether he wants to be or not. Caroline is whining while Katherine pulls her upstairs with her. She tells her in which room Bonnie is, and Katherine walks into it, asking: “Where is she?” She turns around and sees Caroline smiling before saying: “I did it. I didn’t think I’d be able to fool… you, but… I did it.” Katherine tries to run towards her, but is being held back by the trapping spell Bonnie cast earlier. Stefan appears in the room, and Caroline leaves. She taunts Stefan, asking him if he really thinks that he can kill her with the stake in his hand, and he just smiles and says no before adding “But he can.” as Damon comes out of the closet and shoots a stake out of a crossbow into her back. As the stake impales Katherine, Elena is seen screaming outside, with a blooming red bloodstain on the back of her shirt. Damon stakes Katherine in the deltoids, and Elena screams in pain again, blood blossoming from the same spot in the same arm. Everywhere Katherine gets hurt, Elena feels the same pain and gets the same wounds. Bonnie finally realizes that the doppelgängers are linked to each other and yells at Jeremy to run and stop them before they kill Elena on accident. Katherine, Stefan and Damon continue fighting, and when Damon is just about to drive the stake through Katherine’s heart, Jeremy appears and yells: “Stop! You’re hurting Elena! Everything you’re doing to her is hurting Elena.” Damon looks confused and shocked at him, his arm frozen in mid-air. She gets up and says: “You think you two were the only ones with a witch on your side? Wrong. Something tells me that my witch is better than your witch.” Stefan tells Jeremy to check on Elena and he leaves. “Let’s all make sure poor Elena’s okay,” Katherine mocks, and starts to cut her palm with the stake just to hurt Elena even more. Katherine is about to stake herself in the stomach when Stefan stops her. Bonnie tells Elena that she can’t undo the linking spell, but that she can do a spell to take some of the pain away. Jeremy comes back to Bonnie and Elena and tells them Katherine has a witch on her side. Bonnie realizes it’s Lucy, the mystery woman she got the vibe from, and runs away to find her. Jeremy offers to give Elena his Gilbert Ring in case they try to kill Elena through Katherine, but Elena prefers to know that Jeremy is safe. Katherine reminisces about the old times in 1864 to the Salvatores, making snide comments about what a bore Damon was back then and how much of an inconvenience his obsession with her was. Stefan asks Katherine why she was working with a werewolf (Mason). Damon tells him not to waste his breath, mockingly apologizes about killing Mason and Katherine explains that Mason isn’t the only wolf in town.
Sarah asks Matt and Tyler what happened to Aimee, and the boys don’t know. Matt purposely spills alcohol all over the floor of the office and over a picture of his deceased father. Tyler asks Matt what’s wrong with him. He gets Tyler mad by saying mean things about his father and bringing up the times that his dad beat him, and breaks the frame of the picture. Even though Tyler says: “I’m not gonna fight you”, Matt makes the first move and they start fighting anyway, Matt because he is compelled to, and Tyler in order to defend himself. Caroline walks through a room, still smiling about her achievement, when she hears Tyler and Matt fighting in the office. She runs into the room, asking what’s going on. She pulls Matt far away from Tyler. When Matt still won’t stop, Caroline elbows him in the face and knocks him unconscious. Tyler looks at her, shocked about her strength. She immediately looks if Matt is okay. Meanwhile, Sarah grabs a knife, muttering: “If Matt fails, I can’t.” Caroline sees her coming and starts to warn Tyler, but it’s too late; Sara stabs him in the clavicular area with a knife, and he instinctively pushes her away. She falls backwards, and her head hits the edge of the desk and cracks her neck, dying immediately. Tyler is shocked and doesn’t know what to do when Sarah doesn’t wake up. Caroline checks her pulse and realizes she’s dead. Tyler freaks out, starts screaming in pain and his eyes change colors, signifying the werewolf curse being triggered. Damon, Stefan and Katherine are still waiting for Katherine’s witch, Lucy. Stefan realizes something. He remembers that she told him that she gave George Lockwood something that he needed to make him help her fake her death. He figures it’s the moonstone. He wants to know why she needs it back, but Katherine just changes the topic and says: “I love you in a suit. So dashing.” Meanwhile, Stefan figures the moonstone wasn’t hers to begin with and asks who she was running from in 1864 when she faked her death. She changes the topic again, saying that in 1987, while Stefan was in a concert with Lexi, she was there to see him. Stefan asks her again who she was running from and she just whispers: “I love you.” Bonnie finds Lucy. She walks away when she sees her, but Bonnie follows her. She tells her her first name and says: “I should’ve known I’d run into a Bennett.” Bonnie wants to know how she knows her. She says she doesn’t want to fight her and that she will stop the spell that links Elena to Katherine if she gives her the moonstone. Lucy finally tells her about Katherine: “The bitch saved my life. And now I owe her.” She’s about to leave, when Bonnie grabs her arm. Lucy senses that Bonnie has the moonstone on her. “Can you feel that?” she then says, “You can trust me. Give it to me. It’s okay.”
 Vampire-diaries-season-2-masquerade_(21)
Upstairs, Damon is about to kill Katherine with a stake, but Stefan holds him back. Damon says: “The second the spell’s lifted, I’m gonna drive a stake right through your heart.” Katherine isn’t scared, just says: “God, you’re hot.” Lucy appears and gets their attention. She has the moonstone in her hand and tells Katherine that the spell is broken and that she can leave. “When I hand this over, my dept to you is over,” says Lucy. “I owe you nothing.” Katherine agrees and she gives it to her. Then suddenly Katherine starts gasping and falls. “You should’ve told me another witch was involved,” says Lucy. She also says that Elena is fine and that the spell is broken and explains that with Bonnie with her, she will heal quickly. She apologizes for her involvement to the Salvatores and leaves. Caroline explains a different version of how Sarah died to Carol. After she leaves, she tells Tyler that Matt is in the car sleeping it off. Tyler asks her why she is covering for him. He says she doesn’t know what it means that Sarah’s dead. Caroline says she does, but Tyler shakes his head. She asks if his wound has healed and he asks: “How did you…?” Lucy is walking away from the house and Bonnie asks her to wait. She apologizes and makes it pretty clear that she is not more of a fan of vampires than Bonnie is. She asks Lucy how she could know she could trust her, and Lucy responds by asking her if she’s ever felt that feeling before. Bonnie says that she has felt it before around family and her Grams. Lucy says that they’re cousins. She says seeing her was a wake-up call, that she has to stop letting vampires control her. She thanks her and leaves. Bonnie asks her to wait again, saying she has so many questions and that she doesn’t want to be in the middle of all of this either and asks her how to stay out of it. Lucy says: “Unlike me, you’re one of the good ones, Bonnie. The middle of it is exactly where you need to be.” She tells her to take care and that they’ll see each other again and finally leaves. Bonnie looks after her. Jeremy walks over to her, saying he’s going home and offers her a ride. He sees her face and asks if she’s okay. She nods, giggles, and asks him when he got his driver’s license. Jeremy laughs and tells her he’s not a kid anymore. She says she’d love a ride home. Stefan sees Elena outside. She promises she will see a doctor about the wounds, but assures him that she’s okay. She asks if Katherine is really gone. Stefan nods. They smile at each other. Stefan says he was so worried and comes closer to her, but Elena moves him away. “Katherine being gone, it doesn’t change anything for you, does it?” he asks. “I wanna be with you, Stefan,” she says, “You know that. But first, I need to wake up and know that the people that I love are safe. I need to feel safe. Do you understand?” Stefan says he does, even though he looks sad. Elena slowly walks away. Katherine is seen waking up. She is in the tomb, but still has the moonstone. She wants to get out, but she is trapped in the tomb by a new trapping spell. Damon appears outside of the tomb. When she asks him where she is, he says: “Where you should have been all along.” She says he should have just killed her, but he retorts that death would have been too kind. Damon is almost done closing the heavy door to the tomb when Katherine pleads: “No. Damon, don’t. Damon. Don’t. You need me, Elena’s in danger.” Damon stops for a moment and furrows his brow. “From who?” he asks. Katherine refuses to answer. “You’re lying,” Damon says, “You’re always lying.” Damon closes the door further. “Why do you think I haven’t killed her?” asks Katherine. “Because she’s the doppelgänger! She needs to be protected.” “Then I’ll protect her,” says Damon, “While you rot in hell.” As he finally closes the door, Katherine starts screaming and begging desperately: “No. Damon, don’t. I’ll do anything, please, Damon, you need me. You need me. You need me!” She bangs her fist against the door and screams “You need me!” again, but Damon walks away, but not before swallowing hard.
Elena is in the driveway at the Lockwood’s and is on the phone with Jeremy. “Yeah, Jeremy, I’ve got my car. I told Bonnie, whatever she did, I’m starting to feel better. Yeah, you can drive her home. I’m just gonna go straight to bed. Okay.” She hangs up and suddenly, a masked man appears behind her. Elena realizes someone’s following her. She turns around and the man places his hand on her mouth so she can’t scream and carries her away. It is somewhat surprising that Katherine has been defeated this early in the season, but I am not complaining. The Vampire Diaries moves quickly, and it is better to move on before Katherine becomes one of those tiresome villains who can never be defeated. Although the show is wise to keep her alive; she hints that Elena is still in danger and that she has some information. I’m sure we will be getting back to Katherine and her information sooner or later.
GHOST WORLD
 Damon is seen tied to a chair with chains, and a poker in his chest. He notices his ring is on the ground, and tells Stefan that’s a low blow; Stefan comes in, telling him he didn’t do any of that. Stefan plucks the poker out, and rips off the binds on his hands, but leaves him chained. Mason, standing in the shadows, opens the curtains and lets Damon burn for a while. It is the Night of Illumination in Mystic Falls and everyone is helping out, hanging paper lanterns. Carol Lockwood introduces Tobias Fell, who gives a history lesson. Jeremy asks Alaric what they are doing there, where Alaric explains Tobias is the head of the history department, and why he’s there. Elena joins them and asks what she has missed, Anna (who is tethered to Jeremy still) gives a witty reply which Elena can’t hear, but Jeremy said she missed nothing. He laughs at something Anna says, which confuses Elena. Anna smiles, and takes Jeremy’s hand. Caroline asks Bonnie whether the spell she did would make Anna disappear too, which she replies no and explains Jeremy still has a direct line to the Other Side, and could see Anna whenever he wished. Bonnie says she took a risk bringing Jeremy back, and was now paying the consequences for it. Damon arrives in his car, and tells Bonnie that she messed up during her spell because Mason Lockwood is now after him for revenge.
At the Mystic Grill, Elena asks for Jeremy’s help with Stefan, wondering if he could contact Lexi—an old friend of Stefan’s that always had a way to bring him back from his ripper ways. Jeremy said he’s not sure if she’s even on The Other Side and he had no previous connection to her whatsoever. Bonnie asks Matt whether he’s contacted Vicki again, and he swears he hasn’t. Caroline asks why she thinks it’s Vicki and not Mason, to which she replies that if any other ghost has a foothold, something is very wrong. Bonnie grabs her bag, but her grimoire falls out, and it flips open to a Manifestation spell, used to reveal veil matter – ghosts. Alaric is not too comfortable with the idea of bringing back dead vampires, seeing as they already have enough vampires as it is. Anna silently tells Jeremy that not all ghosts go to the other side, that some find peace. Stefan joins them at the table, picking up his diaries, wondering how he could have cared so much. Stefan tells Elena it would be better if she moved on and let go of her feelings for him. At the place where the witches were burned, Bonnie and Caroline start setting up to do the Manifestation spell. Jeremy questions Anna why she didn’t want Elena to know that she was there, and Anna replies that she wouldn’t like it, seeing as Bonnie is Elena’s best friend. Jeremy is extremely confused with his feelings, tells Anna he always loved her, and kisses her.
Bonnie does the spell, and Grams appears to her, holding her hands – all over town, ghosts of previous vampires start to appear. Elena walks in on Jeremy and Anna kissing, finally being able to see her again. Lexi appears to Stefan who’s shocked. Mason appears to Damon and Alaric at the Grill, and knocks him over the head with a glass. Lexi tells Stefan he’s off the rails, and that while she’s materialized in the real world, she’ll help him out of his mess. Lexi knocks Stefan unconscious after he refuses her help. Bonnie is emotional at seeing her Grams. Sheila tells Bonnie that the Original Witch unleashed everyone who had unfinished business – she has to close the “door”, by destroying the talisman of the Original Witch. Anna overhears Caroline and Elena on the phone talking about the necklace, and she disappears. Elena walks out and bumps into Lexi, where she thanks her for thinking about her that day, bringing her back. Lexi tells Elena to come with her, as she could help Stefan. Mason tells Damon he’s not after revenge, but an apology. The truth is he’s there to help Tyler. Mason heard of a way to be able to kill an Original, and that the secrets are in the old Lockwood basement. In the City Jail, Lexi has tied Stefan to the torture chair. Lexi looks at Stefan in the eyes and gets inside his head, making him hallucinate. Damon goes to the basement where Mason is waiting for him, and they break through a wall, which reveals a tunnel, which they start to climb through.
Stefan is starting to struggle, screaming to get out and Lexi starts to count the total years he’s been without blood as he’s hallucinating. Caroline calls Elena and tells her the necklace isn’t where Damon said it would be. Elena says they should hold off on stopping the ghosts, and they need to help Stefan. Jeremy is shown to be searching for Anna. Frederick walks over to where Anna is standing in the celebrations, saying they have some unfinished business with the Founding Families. A scream erupts and Tobias Fell is shown, dangling from a tree, dead. Stefan is starting to beg Elena to release him, he’s sorry and that he loves her. Lexi warns her that he’d say anything to get out of there. She goes on to say that he’s now getting past the blood and he could feel things – she demonstrates this by stabbing him on the arm. Elena rushes off, not being able to handle it. Walking around the corner, she is greeted by ambulance lights and a body being taken away. Caroline and Bonnie are still searching for the necklace, but can’t find it anywhere in the Salvatore house. Caroline gets a suspicion that Anna could have perhaps taken it, and asks Jeremy about it. Anna tells him no. Back in the caves, Mason is leading Damon through the tunnel. Damon walks forward and is struck by stakes, puncturing him in the sides
.
Elena confronts Jeremy about Anna being missing, and that she was the only one who knew about the necklace being needed to send the ghosts away. Jeremy fesses up and tells Elena he can touch Anna, and that he loves her and always will. Elena asks him whether he will love a ghost for the rest of his life. Anna reappears and Elena tells her she’s holding Jeremy back. Anna holds up the necklace for them to see, and Elena instructs Jeremy to call Bonnie with the news that they have the necklace and can send the ghosts away. Mason comes back to Damon and breaks off the stakes. Damon can’t believe that Mason isn’t after revenge, but redemption. Mason only wants to help Tyler. Bonnie and Caroline drive back to the Witch House, but see Carol Lockwood’s car and the tomb vampires approaching it. Caroline gets out and attacks. Jeremy tells Anna that they will still be able to see each other afterwards, and that they have nothing to worry about. Anna says that it should be the end, and that she is holding him back from his life. She is sorry she took the necklace, but hoped that with the tomb vampires out, maybe she would get to see her mother. Lexi repeatedly stabs Stefan with a stake – Elena enters and tells her they are running out of time, and the necklace will be destroyed. Lexi uses the necklace as determination, telling Stefan to focus on that as it once gave him hope. Damon cannot get into the small cavern, as it somehow looks like he has to be invited in. Mason goes on ahead of him to look at the cave walls. Bonnie starts to recite the spell, and her Grams joins her, resulting in the necklace being destroyed in the fire. Caroline is seen fighting off the tomb vampires. Frederick gets a hold on her neck, but he disappears, along with Mason in the cave and Lexi at the city jail. Anna sees her mother, Pearl, and they embrace, disappearing together, finally able to rest in peace. Grams is the last to disappear, telling Bonnie she is very proud of her. In the caves, Alaric arrives to help Damon out. Damon again gives the same apology he gave Mason Lockwood, but genuinely meaning it. In the city jail, Stefan asks Elena what she’s gonna do now and if she’s gonna wait till he dries out. Elena says that she’ll go home and be the support her friends need right now. She’s is headstrong and still has hope for him. Elena comes to stand right in front of Stefan, telling him to fight for it, to feel something, because if he doesn’t, he will lose her forever. “I won’t love a ghost for the rest of my life,” she says to him. Jeremy goes to Bonnie, telling her he is sorry. She sends him away, not being able to handle his betrayal. Noises and sparks erupt from the fireplace, and on closer examination, Bonnie sees the necklace’s quality is restored. In the cave, Alaric finds drawings on the wall, yet doesn’t know what they are.
All of the ghosts’ disappearances were handled well, from the heartfelt reunion of Anna and Pearl, or Mason, Grams and Lexie leaving after accomplishing what they needed to do, to the tomb vampires vanishing just in time before they overwhelmed Caroline.

MONSTERS BALL

After Professor Wes Maxfield (Rick Cosnett) killed Jesse (Kendrick Sampson) at the end of the last episode, this episode starts with him performing experiments on Jesse for unknown reasons and it seems that this is not the first one. Meanwhile, Elena (Nina Dobrev) attempts to deal with Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) death by distracting herself with her research about Megan’s death and why Professor Maxfield covered the reason she died. While she ponders how to get the information she needs, she sees someone at Megan’s grave. She approaches the stranger and asks him his name and if he knew Megan, but the man seems reluctant to answer her questions. It is later revealed that the man’s name is Aaron (Shaun Sipos) and Professor Wes is his guardian. Wes asks Aaron to stay away from Elena and then, on an encounter with Elena at the Whitmore Historical Ball, he tells her to leave college and go back to Mystic Falls with her friends as there are people at Whitmore who are watching her. Tyler (Michael Trevino) returns for Bonnie’s funeral and spends some time with Caroline (Candice Accola) who still tries to convince him to cease what he is doing and come to college. Tyler informs her that he cannot let Klaus get away with what he did to his mom, Carol, and that he will hunt him down and kill him. Caroline tries to change his mind with no such luck. The two part ways, ending their relationship.
Nadia (Olga Fonda) still has Katherine captured and Silas (Paul Wesley) commences to try to find them but is unable to without his mental power. Katherine consistently asks Nadia what she wants from her and Nadia reveals to her that she is her daughter whom she left behind in 1492 and the only reason she became a vampire was to find her. In the meantime, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) tells Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) his plan about how they can bring Bonnie back to life. Because someone has to die to bring another back, Damon says that they should take advantage of the fact that Silas wants to die to be with his true love, Amara, so that Bonnie comes back. They have to work with Silas to do so and Bonnie does not agree with the idea. Damon meets Silas to inform him about his plan and Silas agrees but own his terms; he wants Damon to “kill” his brother. By “killing” Stefan, the link between the two of them will be broken and Silas will have his mental power back. Damon just has to keep Stefan “dead” as long as Silas will be pretending to be Stefan so he can get the information he needs from Quetsiyah’s (Janina Gavankar) head.
The plan goes well until the moment Stefan escapes from Damon before he “kills” him again and lets Quetsiyah know that she is talking to Silas and not him. Quetsiyah becomes enraged, reaches into his heart and twists it whilst making a spell causing it to stop. The spell turns Silas cold and grey and unable to move or do anything, but not dead. Damon and Elena find him and take him back to the Salvatore house. Katherine arrives at the Salvatore home after Damon calls her and she is happy to see that Silas is gone, unbeknownst to the real reason Damon called her, to use her to bring Silas back. Silas starts to wake up after feeding on Katherine and while Katherine should be dead after this, she also wakes up with Elena and Damon not knowing why.
Though not the most surprising or action packed episode of The Vampire Diaries, “Monster’s Ball” was full of enough emotion to overshadow these minor missing elements.
THE WORLD HAS TURNED AND LEFTED ME HERE
Trip (Colin Ferguson) calls Stefan (Paul Wesley) to thank him for turning in Enzo (Michael Malarkey) and informs him that he is trying to get out of him all the information he knows about vampires. Enzo told him that there is a vampire in Savannah, where Stefan is, and that leads Stefan to get back to Mystic Falls with Ivy (Emily C. Chang) to avoid the vampire hunters. Stefan arrives at Caroline’s (Candice Accola) dorm and asks her help with Ivy. Caroline tries to keep Ivy in the dorm but Ivy snaps her neck and gets away. When Caroline wakes up, she tries to reach Stefan while she is out searching for Ivy, but he is not answering his phone.Ivy finds a guy and attacks him but she manages to stop feeding on him before she kills him. She tries to compel him but she does not know how to do it. To make sure that she will not kill him, she asks him to run away. In the meantime, Stefan listens Caroline’s messages and comes back. When Caroline asks him where he has been all day, he admits that he was on his way out of town. Caroline is shocked that he would leave town leaving Ivy with her. Angry, she asks him to leave and then Ivy calls for her help.
Elena (Nina Dobrev) invites Liam (Marco James) to the annual “Homecoming Corn Maze” party as her date. She also convinces Alaric (Matt Davis) and Jo (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) to go since they both need it but they have no idea that Elena planned it this way to set them up. While everyone being in the corn maze, the guy that Ivy attacked jumps in front of Tyler’s (Michael Trevino) car and Tyler, on his attempt to avoid him, drives through the corn maze injuring many people, including the guy who jumped in front of him. Tyler is terrified and calls Elena to tell her that he was the one driving the car and she needed her to heal the person he injured. Elena tells him that there are many injured people and Tyler does not know what to do.
Jo and Alaric try to help those who got injured while Liam and Elena do the same. Liam finds a girl who is deadly injured and asks Elena’s help. Elena tells him that she can handle it and he should go to help others. When Liam leaves, she feeds the girl her blood healing her and then compels her to forget about it. On their way out, Liam sees the girl alive and well and gets suspicious of what happened. When he asks Elena about it, Elena denies to tell him the truth and kisses him as a distraction.  Meanwhile, Liv (Penelope Mitchell) finds Tyler and tries to help him. When they find out that there is nothing they can do to save him, Tyler is desperate since his curse will be activated again, but Liv decides to kill the guy before he bleeds to death, so she will be the one who killed him and not Tyler. Back at the hospital, Jo confess her feelings to Alaric but Alaric compels her to forget about him. The compulsion though does not work on her and Jo kisses him before she leaves. Caroline is on her way to find Ivy but Tripp gets to her before Caroline. He shots her with vervain and takes her away while Caroline watches from her car in shock.
Back in 1994, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) tries to convince Bonnie (Kat Graham) that it is fine to take Kai (Chris Wood) with them because they will kill him the moment they go back but Bonnie does not agree to free him. When she realizes that Kai does not know the spell, she kills him and tries to find the spell on her own in her grandmother’s Grimoire. Bonnie finds the spell and she and Damon get ready to get back home but Kai, who did not die, appears and shoots Bonnie with an arrow. Damon and Kai start to fight and when Bonnie realizes that she will not make it, she uses her magic to at least send Damon back leaving herself behind with Kai.
The episode ends with Stefan going to the Salvatore crypt and talking alone about his dead family and Damon. While he is there, Damon appears telling him he is alive and back and the two brothers reunite.
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The episode was pretty solid and took viewers on emotional journey filled with ups, downs and some shocking twists. Also it had a nice cliffhanger with the fate of several characters in question.

I CARRY YOU IN MY HEART WITH ME

Damon said goodbye for now to Elena during “I Carry Your Heart With Me,” and Alaric said hello again to Jo.That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The Phoenix stone works! It’s unlikely that this resurrection spell is going to come with no consequences. Resurrection spells, messing around with the laws of life and death, never come without their issues in this world. But that’s okay. We’ll deal with that later. Thanks to the flash forward, we know that the Phoenix stone resurrected not just Jo but also their girls. Twin girls. The Gemini coven has been reborn. Maybe they’ll figure out a way to prevent that whole twin-absorption merging thing that caused a lot of family drama, but if not, my money’s on Josie being the stronger of the two.

The Vampire Diaries -- I’m still not buying that Enzo is in love with Lily and wants to be with her romantically. I think it’s a ploy of his to stay in Mystic Falls and keep whomever happens to wander into town safe. Sure, he brought home a body, but that was more of a peace offering for Valerie than anything, right?

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He’s smart to want to know about Julian and who he was, and he’s smart enough to know that Lily’s a lovestruck, idiotic idealist when it comes to her family. There is no part of me who believes he wants to keep Julian away so that he can have Lily to himself. Enzo just sort of understands that if Lily would fall for this guy, he cannot be a good man. Keeping Julian away is for the good of everyone. Speaking of Lily, she does have a type. Damon was right when he said she prefers the sons who can’t control their bloodlust, and Oscar definitely couldn’t once he was resurrected. Whether that bloodlust is just who Oscar is or whether it’s a weird side-effect of the Phoenix stone remains to be seen. So far, I’m leaning toward Oscar is a blood-thirsty maniac who just can’t stop. That explains the body count in Myrtle Beach and his ravenous feeding frenzy post-awakening.
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It’s time for Damon to let Elena’s body rest. If he’s going to live, move on, whatever, he cannot do it with Elena’s physical presence beside him. He can’t keep her safe, and he has no idea who he is without her. Holding on to her body is his way of holding on to her, and the only reason he’s doing that is because he doesn’t trust himself to be a good man without her. He’s already shown moments of it when he’s protected Matt. In fact, listing “keeping Matt Donovan” alive as one of the reasons he wants to move back to Mystic Falls is a huge sign that he’s already become someone Elena would be proud to know. He can do this. Letting go was the first step

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: DEAD LIKE ME – HAUNTED

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HAUNTED

MAIN CAST

Ellen Muth (Hannibal)
Laura Harris (Severance)
Callum Blue (Smallville)
Jasmine Guy (The Vampire Diaries)
Cynthia Stevenson (Happiness)
Mandy Patinkin (The Princess Diaries)
Greg Kean (Saved)
Britt McKillip (Trick’ r Treat)
Christine Willes (Red Riding Hood)
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GUEST CAST

Emily Perkins (Ginger Snaps)

Dead Like Me: Haunted was the final episode for this science fiction series about grim reapers. It was Halloween, and it was actually one of their better episodes. I liked seeing the characters in other types of attire. Jasmine Guy, who is quite beautiful, dressed as a princess and looked the part, eventhough her Roxy character kept up her toughness without giving an inch.
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One of the other interesting things was how they had George going to the house she’d once gone trick or treating at. The guy was a mass murderer so there wasn’t any sentiment, but how they wove this story together was pretty good  With just a couple of reservations about how things were handled in the Reggie storyline, I did like that it ended nicely. She and her mother have made up some ground, and that’s deserved. I feel like the Joy persona probably evolved more than anyone else on the show, even the
Dead Like Me: Haunted was intriguing, and the last scene was really nice. There had been a big disconnect in recent episodes between George and her family, and this pieced it together a tiny degree, at least as far as Reggie was concerned

REVIEW: THE VAMPIRE DIARIES -SEASON 1-6

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MAIN CAST

Nina Dobrev (Never Cry Werewolf)
Paul Wesley (Killer Movie)
Ian Somerhalder (Pulse)
Steven R. McQueen (Piranha 3d)
Sara Canning (Primeval: New World)
Kat Graham (Honey 2)
Candice King (Juno)
Zach Roerig (Rings)
Kayla Ewell (Impact Point)
Michael Trevino (The Riches)
Matthew Davis (Cult)
Joseph Morgan (Hex)
Michael Malarkey (The Selection)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Chris William Martin (Dollhouse)
Benjamin Ayres (Saving Hope)
Chris J. Johnson (Betrayal)
Marguerite MacIntyre (Red Dragon)
Robert Pralgo (Fast & Furious 7)
Susan Walters (The Flash)
Jasmine Guy (Dead Like Me)
Arielle Kebbel (Ballers)
Bianca Lawson (Beauty and The Beast)
Mia Kirshner (30 Days of Night: Dark Days)
Malese Jow (The Flash)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Sean Faris (Never Back Down)
James Remar (The Shannara Chronicles)
Kelly Hu (Arrow)
Melinda Clarke (Spawn)
David Anders (Izombie)
Spencer Locke (Resident Evil: Afterlife)
Taylor Kinney (Zero Dark Thirty)
B.J. Britt (Agents of SHIELD)
Tiya Sircar (The Internship)
Maiara Walsh (The Starving Games)
Natashia Williams (Smiley Face)
Lauren Cohan (Chuck)
Trent Ford (Smallville)
Daniel Gillies (Young Hercules)
Dawn Olivieri (American Hustle)
Stephen Amell (Arrow)
Michaela McManus (Law & Order: SVU)
David Gallagher (Super 8)
Jack Coleman (Heroes)
Sebastian Roche (Odyssey 5)
Claire Holt (Mean Girls 2)
Anna Enger (Anchorman 2)
Alice Evans (Lost)
Torrey DeVitto (The Rite)
Robert Ri’chard (Veronica Mars)
Perisa White (Blood Dolls)
Nathaniel Buzolic (Out of The Blue)
Cassidy Freeman (Smallville)
Casper Zafer (Coffe Sex You)
Michael Reilly Burke (Mars Attacks)
Todd Williams (San Andreas)
Grace Phipps (Scream Queens)
Phoebe Tonkin (The Secret Circle)
David Alpay (Ararat)
Alyssa Diaz (Red Dawn)
Madeline Zima (Californication)
Rick Worthy (Collateral Damage)
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow)
Charles Michael Davis (Battle Scars)
Daniella Pineda (American Odyssey)
Leah Pipes (Fingerprints)
Callrd Harris (The Real St.Nick)
Eka Darvill (Spartacus)
Olga Fonda (Real Steel)
Hayley Kiyoko (Scooby-Doo 3 & 4)
Rick Cosnett (The Flash)
Janina Gavankar (The L Word)
Kendrick Sampson (Gracepoint)
Shaun Sipos (Texas Chainsaw 3d)
Caitlin McHugh (I Am Legdn)
Penelope Mitchell (Curve)
Chris Brochu (Soul Surfer)
Raffi Barsoumian (NCIS)
Colin Ferguson (Eureka)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Halloween: H20)
Emily Chang (Total Recall)
Gabrielle Walsh  (The Hive)
Marco James Marquez  (The CLient List)
Chris Wood (Supergirl)
Tristin Mays (The Wedding Ringer)
Annie Wersching (Bosch)
Christopher Cousins (Wicker Park)

 


There are vampires, and there are indeed diaries. One of these diaries is being kept by Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev). Elena’s been writing down her thoughts for quite some time now, but in these dark days, her diary is her only outlet for the way she really feels. She’s still reeling from the deaths of both of her parents just a few short months ago, and while she tries to present a smiling face to the world at large, she’s emotionally ravaged inside. Elena has been keeping almost everyone around her at arm’s length, dumping one of her oldest friends who she’d only recently started to date and tearing just about every last page out of her social calendar. She’s dead inside.

Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley), meanwhile, is dead, period. He too keeps a journal, although having been alive…well, undead…for around 150 years, Stefan has had quite a bit more to write about than Elena. One of the first things Stefan did upon his return to his ancestral home of Mystic Falls, Virginia is re-enroll in high school. As an eternal 17 year old, he doesn’t run into any trouble looking the part. It certainly doesn’t hurt that as one of the few surviving vampires who doesn’t sizzle and smolder under the light of day, there’s little reason for anyone to suspect that Stefan is one of the undead. Stefan and Elena are inexorably drawn to one another, and the two of them are almost immediately established as a couple. Epic romance. Moony eyes. You know the drill.

Stefan can’t escape his blood. You can take that in the most literal sense: there’s the blood he must ingest in order to survive, although he’s long since sworn off feeding from humans, living instead off of small animals in the woods around his palatial family estate. This makes it easier to for Stefan to more seamlessly blend into mainstream society rather than feasting off it from the fringes, but it leaves him weaker than most other vampires as a result. It’s just not as potent as what’s coursing through our veins. There’s that sort of blood — the crimson, sticky kind — and then there’s the blood of his family. Stefan’s brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder) is also a creature of the night, and he long ago swore to make every last second of Stefan’s existence an eternal hell. Damon kills without hesitation…not only to feed, and not only to hide the existence of vampires from the world at large, but simply because he likes it. There’s more to Damon’s return to Mystic Falls than revenge, though. There’s a much greater — a much darker — motivation behind it all. At the same time, Mystic Falls isn’t being caught as unaware as Damon might like to think.

The Vampire Diaries finds its footing startlingly quickly. Take Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, for instance: as universally adored as those two series are, neither of them were really any good at all until the tail-end of their first seasons. Even with as strong as Supernatural quickly became in its first year, it got off to somewhat of a shaky start, and a fair number of the episodes from its first season are hit-or-miss. The Vampire Diaries, on the other hand, is just about perfect by the time the third episode rolls around. There really aren’t any weak episodes after that. There’s no filler dumped in just to pad out the rest of the season, and it doesn’t spin its wheels the way a lot of shows do when leading up to the big finale. It’s impressive enough that The Vampire Diaries hits such dizzying heights in its very first season, but to maintain that sort of consistency across virtually every episode…that’s exceptionally rare.


Admittedly, its pilot is kind of slow moving and sputters a bit, but the second episode is quite a bit stronger, and you’ll know from the end of “Friday Night Bites” if you’re in it for the long haul. Even with all of its genre underpinnings, at its core, The Vampire Diaries is a soap opera, complete with dead parents, drug abuse, adoption drama, alcoholism, and lots and lots of relationships. Don’t go in expecting it to be a Buffy clone or a Supernatural knockoff. The elements that make those series so brilliant are showcased here as well, but action, horror, and a snarky sense of humor don’t dominate. The great thing about The Vampire Diaries — and I write this from the perspective of someone who’s not the usual target demographic for this kind of show — is that the soapier elements are never overwhelming either. For instance, as the series opens, Elena’s younger brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) has turned to drugs in a failed attempt at trying to cope with the sudden deaths of his parents. In any other show, there’d be some sort of big, overwrought intervention…drenched in syrupy strings, a heartfelt monologue, and saucer-plate weepy eyes. That, or he’d bottom out in some sort of cartoonishly over-the-top way. Because The Vampire Diaries is so respectful to its characters and its audience, it doesn’t trot down either of those paths. People try to reach Jeremy and fail. He has to arrive at the decision to improve his lot in life himself, and he quickly does. Though Jeremy is certainly given a helpful nudge, his maturation is handled quietly and convincingly. The Vampire Diaries doesn’t have all that much interest in settling for the obvious, and it resists wringing out drama from the same plot points episode after episode.

Every episode has some sort of intensely action or horror driven sequence to unleash, and some sort of shock or surprise is always lurking around the next corner. I seriously found myself shouting at my TV — the good kind of shouting! — with the way The Vampire Diaries so deviously caught me off-guard over and over again. The twists are also well-thought-out and wholly earned, not just lazily yanking out the rug. Very few people here are safe, and characters I assumed would be a fixture for the entire run of the show are suddenly slaughtered after a few episodes. The cinematography can be impressively cinematic as well, and quite a few moments of “You’re Undead to Me” and “Haunted” in particular look as if they could’ve been culled from a big-budget Hollywood horror flick. Especially once the pilot has come and gone, the pace screams along at a very steady clip. There are never really any threads in the storyline that are left dangling for long. Plot points that look like they’d be dragged out over the course of the first season or two are instead revealed a third of the way through. Key moments that feel like they belong in the season finale swoop in closer to the halfway mark. I mean that as the highest compliment too. Nothing ever feels rushed or underplayed. It’s all presented quickly enough to keep The Vampire Diaries from stagnating but is still given enough time to have a meaningful impact…it’s a perfect balance. Also, every episode offers some sort of payoff to something established earlier, and there’s generally some kind of reveal as well. So much happens that part of me honestly wonders how they can keep up this manic pace in season two, although the writers have very much earned the benefit of the doubt after this exceptionally strong first outing. I’m having a hard time thinking of the last show I watched with cliffhangers this consistently addictive too. Especially now that it’s out on Blu-ray, The Vampire Diaries kind of demands to be devoured in marathon viewings.

The cast and characterization straight across the board are particularly great. There’s something magnetic about every last member of The Vampire Diaries’ ensemble, and no weak links leap out at me. There’s certainly an effort to keep them even-keeled. There’s something likeable or sympathetic about most everyone. Each character has some sort of glaring flaw as well, and that includes Elena and Stefan. Elena isn’t some sort of impossibly perfect Mary Sue character. She has her shortcomings, and her friends and family aren’t afraid to call her on them and take her down a peg either. In most any other show, everyone in the supporting cast would be boiled down to a three or four word description: “horny best friend” or “hyperaggressive jock”…that sort of thing. They’d be defined less by who they are and more by what the plot requires them to do that week. In The Vampire Diaries, just about everyone is infused with quite a bit more thought and dimension. This may not be at all apparent at first glance. Some of the folks who at first seem destined to be dead air are soon given some additional depth. Well, that, or they’re quickly mauled.

The body count this season is kinda stratospheric, and it doesn’t hurt that the werewolves hinted at last year have started snarling their way into the series. Season two is teeming with all sorts of unrepentant killers, and the standout early on is Katherine. Nina Dobrev pulls double duty as the wholesome, responsible Elena and as the centuries-old scheming murderess Katherine (several very different incarnations of her, actually), and she’s more than a little bit awesome in both roles. The series milks a few really great jolts from the uncertainty of who you’re looking at, exactly — if it’s Elena or if it’s Katherine playing dress-up — and Katherine’s sinister smirk after she’s had her fun never fails to make me cackle. Katherine also subscribes to the theory that people don’t amount to much more than Happy Meals on legs, and the swiftness, ferocity, and complete lack of remorse as she cripples and murders one random girl just to prove a point winds up being one of the season’s standout moments. I do have to admit that later in the season, The Vampire Diaries’ writers seem to run out of really compelling things for Katherine to do, and her appearances start to pack less and less of a wallop. There’s a point to it, exploring a facet of the character that she’d just as soon refuse to acknowledge even exists, but it does seem anticlimatic with as much of a sultry, destructive force of nature as Katherine is early on. The Vampire Diaries more than makes up for Katherine’s descent into shrugworthiness by introducing a couple of truly ancient vampires — Klaus and Elijah — who are charismatic, startlingly compelling, and also regal and adult…an appreciated change of pace from a show where the monsters are generally played by witty early-twentysomethings.

Ian Somerhalder still stands strong overall as the best thing about The Vampire Diaries, scoring all the snarkiest lines and clearly having a hell of a lot more fun than anyone else in front of the camera. Still, despite being so manipulative, exploitative, hot-tempered, and occasionally murderous, the show still finds a way to keep him completely likeable and sympathetic. Some of the shades of gray with Damon are erased this season, and he’s much more overtly a dependable hero-type. I chalk that up as character development, natch, and the fact that he frequently does seem to approach becoming the man Elena wants him to be makes his slips back into monster-dom that much more tragic.

The Vampire Diaries season 2  is just a hell of a lot of fun to watch, screaming ahead at a manic pace and never settling into any sort of comfortable routine. It’s shockingly well-acted, there’s hardly any filler or unnecessary distractions, and The Vampire Diaries probably gets the nod as the most infectious and consistently entertaining drama I’m watching these days. Even the soapier stuff and the over-the-top melodrama winds up being more engrossing than I ever would’ve thought possible.

 

he third season of The Vampire Diaries is about family…or, rather, trying to hold onto one. Elena’s is all but gone, limited to just her increasingly distant brother Jeremy. The two of them have a surrogate father in Alaric, but even he’s content to set up shop on the couch rather than settle into one of the house’s depressingly vacant rooms. A fractitious family at best seems as if it could collapse at any moment. Elena and Damon both are desperately hunting for Stefan. The previous season closed with Stefan unleashing the monster within, swearing allegiance to the millenium-old original vampire Klaus. ‘The Ripper’ has resurfaced. Though he obeys Klaus’ every command to murder and maim, Stefan isn’t some mindless, manipulated slave; he relishes in the kill.

 

In any other series, Stefan would be back to his righteous old self within two or three episodes, but…well, this is The Vampire Diaries. Things will never be the same again. Klaus has much of his true family within arm’s reach, though he prefers to keep the bulk of them skewered and subdued. His aim is to raise a new family, one that’s both more loyal and more like him: a hybrid of vampire and werewolf. The birthing of this army proves to be far more difficult than Klaus could ever have dreamt, and his torment grows that much greater when he finds the family tree of his birth to be more expansive and more vengeful than once believed. The dominance of family this season doesn’t stop there. Hell, we learn that the existence of vampires at all is predicated on the idea of protecting one’s own. No one in Mystic Falls escapes unscathed from all this, with the sorceress Bonnie, undead Caroline, and lycanthropic Tyler all struggling with parents who’ve either turned their backs on them or can’t accept their children for who they now are.

The Vampire Diaries does so much right, and approaching the top of that list is its disinterest in convention. Stefan and Elena form the core of the series in so many ways, and yet it’s quite a while before the two ever share the same frame this year. They’re kept physically apart for far more of the season than I would ever have thought possible, and even after that point, they’re hardly ‘together’. Stefan has changed profoundly. He may never return to the unwaveringly good guy he once was, and the journey back proves to be a whole hell of a lot more grueling As the third season of The Vampire Diaries came to a close, Elena died. This year follows her rebirth as a vampire, although if Stefan and Damon have their way, Elena will be re-reborn soon enough.You see, there’s a cure for vampirism, entombed for two thousand years with an immortal creature known only as Silas. Even with the crypt on the other end of the continent and before embarking on one epic quest after another to unlock it, they all start fantasizing about what they’ll do if they ever get their hands on the cure.

They could shove it down Klaus’ throat and at long last end his reign of terror, although who knows what kind of collateral damage would result from slaying an Original. Perhaps it’s the shot at redemption that Rebekah has been waiting for. Maybe it’s a chance for Stefan and Elena to enjoy a long but less than eternal life together as humans. It ought to go without saying that not everyone will be able to get what they want, especially since they’re not the only ones in search of the cure. Supernaturally-fueled vampire hunters have started to make their presence known for the first time in ages, and they aim to strip Silas of his immortality and end him once and for all. Anyone who gets in their way is expendable, and it kind of follows that Elena’s vampiric bodyguards don’t pose much of a threat to seasoned killers engineered to butcher the undead.

Season four is largely shaped by those three plot threads: Elena coming to grips with her vampirism, the search for the cure, and the resurrection of Silas. Most everything else that happens this year is fallout from one or more of the above. One of the people closest to Elena is saddled with the mantle of a Hunter, and the path to Silas’ tomb can only be unearthed by having him slaughter as many vampires as possible…a compulsion he’s all too eager to indulge. Cut off from the source of her mystical gifts, Bonnie begins to embrace darker magic. They imbue her with the power needed to unlock Silas’ tomb, but this raw, boundless energy may consume Bonnie before she’s given the opportunity.

Season 5 the doppelganger of Stefan or “shadow self” in the form of Silas certainly keeps things interesting. Silas is one of the more intense bad guys of the show and while Silas appears as if Stefan (as is performed by the same actor), the differences between characters is huge. The same can be said for the continuing story-line of the other double, the seemingly identical look-alike Katherine (who continues to look the same as Elena, but also is nothing like her). In Season 5, Katherine turns from a vampire to a human (as the sole recipient of the long-sought vampire cure), and things are complicated because of it. Seeing the way that actors Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley handle these scenes is part of the fun, and it’s an amazingly procifient example of the benefits of quality film editing to see the scenes where characters have interactions with one another as played by the same actor.

The production values of The Vampire Diaries are surprisingly strong for such a modest budget television production. The special effects are always minimally utilized so that when there are effects on the show they can count as something extra special. The efforts from the team that works on this show really impresses. The cinematography remains a constant things; always showcasing both the bright and dark elements of the storylines. The costumes fit with these performers well. The make-up department has their work cut out for them at times, and are capably bringing forth the supernatural elements to the show.

Considering relatively lower production costs compared to other network television series, it’s a very well produced creation that continues to impress with what the creator and producers have to work with.

In season six we get to find out what happened to Bonnie (Graham) and Damon (Somerhalder) after last season’s cliff-hanger, and what has become of the other side. There is also the introduction of a new coven of witches who have ties to some pre-existing characters. Last season’s new addition Enzo (Malarkey) also gets a much more beefed up role as well as back-story.

Amongst all of the new additions there are of course some exits, the most notable being that of leading lady. Audiences have spent the last six years investing in the life of Elena Gilbert, but now has come the time to say goodbye, and it isn’t easy. It’s not just Elena though as this year the show lost a total of four of its more long-standing cast members, and there isn’t going to be a dry eye in the house by the end of the season.

'The Vampire Diaries' Recap: Damon and Elena Return to 1994

What makes this box-set really special this season  is the extras. Thought has clearly been put into what to include, and it isn’t your standard deleted scenes and commentaries. Both of those elements are included, but the featurettes have been crafted with the true die-hard fans at the fore-front of their minds. Good Bit and Good Luck is an emotional documentary that gives the cast and crew a public forum to say goodbye to their co-stars. The second is a much more upbeat affair as the cast read out some of their favorite fan Twitter reactions to plot developments over the series. There’s never a dull moment in Mystic Falls and somehow, despite being over a hundred episodes old, the show manages to constantly reinvent itself and feel fresh. the cliffhanger leads into what is already starting to be an intriguing season 7.

 

 

 

REVIEW: DEAD LIKE ME: LIFE AFTER DEATH

 

CAST

Ellen Muth (Hannibal)
Mandy Patinkin (The Princess bride)
Callum Blue (Smallville)
Jasmine Guy (The Vampire Diaries)
Laura Harris (Severance)
Greg Kean (Black Xmas)
Britt McKillip (Trick ‘r Treat)
Christine Willes (Red Riding Hood)
Cynthia Stevenson (Tiger Eyes)
Henry Ian Cusick (Lost)

Dead Like Me  was a completely brilliant series which mixed funny and light alongside sadness and death with great ease. It’s influence can easily be seen in (the now also sadly ended) Pushing Daises, as the two shows have many parallels and if you enjoyed watching Pushing Daises I can’t recommend Dead Like Me enough.

Life After Death is set in 2008, five years after the end of the series and it returns us to George’s world. Letting us once again see where she is and how things have developed.



I have to deal with the single biggest issue in the film before moving on, the TV series was hugely anchored and influenced by the brilliance of Mandy Patinkin’s performance as Rube, he effortlessly controlled the scenes he was in, providing a mix of serious and comedy which grounded the entire series. Unfortunately Mandy did not reprise his role for this film, apparently Rube left having ‘got his lights’ and there’s a gaping hole where he used to be. Kane does not function to fill this hole at all and as such I found myself wishing and hoping for Rube to make an appearance. Sadly he does not and the film suffers as a consequence. T
he other major issue with Life After Death is the recasting of Daisy Adair, who was initially played brilliantly by Laura Harris. Laura was unavailable for the movie and Sarah Wynter is cast as Daisy. Sarah is reasonable as Daisy, but she doesn’t have the same presence or ‘peppiness’ that Laura brought to the role.


Now, onto the film itself. Much like the TV series the film deals with two separate and loosely interlinked stories. The first is the arrival of Kane, this new reaper who influences everyone apart from George into a life of debauchery and slacking off of duties. Honestly this story thread isn’t that strong, there’s no real urgency to it all. Everyone falls for Kane’s life very quickly, while Daisy and Mason are quite weak personalities and as such believable it was the rapid seduction of Roxy that felt strange and condensed. There’s no real explanation why Kane wanted them all to slack off, his explanation at the end is rather weak. It seems like he did it because he wanted to be evil, or something. Irregardless of his reasons I was pleased to see him shipped off into space at the end of the film.

But luckily for us there’s a much, much stronger story revolving around George, or more accurately around Reggie who finally meets Milly (George’s new persona) and discovers that Milly is George. Most of this story lets us see more of Reggie and where she’s grown to. Back in the TV series she was a strange little girl who turned dead birds into planes and hung toilet seats from trees, all forms of grieving over George’s death. She’s grown up into a rather insecure, lonely young woman and her life is turned upside down when the lad she was having a secret affair with, one Hudson Hart, is hit and ends up in a coma (instead of being reaped by George, Kane apparently messed up her times — but it’s possible that this was outside influence).

As Reggie discovers about Milly/George and the two of them spend time together we get to see the real heart of the film. George helps Reggie to stand up and go to Hudson before he passes (reaped by George) and then the pair of them talk, George helping Reggie to finally move on and start living. Finally the film ends with George being showered in post-it notes, suggesting that the “upper management” have put her in charge of ‘The Club’ now. This is where I hoped Rube would stroll back in, but no such luck.  Overall Life After Death is an enjoyable piece, it suffers somewhat in several aspects. The lack of Mandy and Laura are huge problems. I’d happily watch more Dead Like Me if this film managed to get the series returned to our screens. I’d watch it in a heartbeat. As for Life After Death, it’s a great film which can move you, but it’s held back by several shortcomings and enormously misses Mandy Patinkin.